Get The Kids Excited!
When my son was in elementary school I spent a lot of time volunteering at his school. Through the years, I assisted his classroom teachers with various tasks, I ran the book fair, I assisted with field day and a few other events during the school year, I was the Secretary of the PTG and for several years I ran the school's Accelerated Reader Program.
If there is one thing that I learned in all of the time I spent in that school it is that children get really excited when you "show them" what's in it for them rather than "tell them" what you want them to do.
A perfect example of this was the Accelerated Reader Program. This was a program that encouraged children to read and improve their reading comprehension. The school provided kids and parents with a list of books that were included in the program. There were a variety of books available for all reading levels. The kids could get the books from the school library, their local public library or even purchase the books at a book store if they chose to do so.
Once the kids read one of the books they would use designated classroom time or library time to take a computerized quiz to test their comprehension of the books that they read. For each comprehension quiz that they passed, they received points.
The parent volunteers who ran the program were responsible for putting together a list of prizes the kids could win for reaching various point levels throughout the year. Each month we would come into the school, get a printout from the librarian telling us what point level each child was at and then go around to the classrooms to give out the prizes.
The one thing that got the children more excited than anything to participate in this options program was a huge bulletin board that we created in the school's main hallway. We made the bulletin board bright, colorful and eye-catching and we put all of the prizes on the board. When the kids could physically see what they could win they wanted it even more than just reading about what they could win on a flyer.
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